Angry community members in Beaufort West in the Central Karoo have taken a stand against the Patriotic Alliance (PA) and its leader, District Mayor Gayton McKenzie. McKenzie was elected Mayor last year and claimed a string of achievements in his first 100 days, including service delivery, job creation and the eradication of the bucket system in some areas.
He also recently revealed that the District Municipality paid over R60 million to Eskom to pay off its debt. McKenzie has boasted a string of achievements since becoming the District Mayor. From fixing pothole and swimming pools and bringing in investments and new businesses but some residents claim these are all lies.
“Yesterday the community of Beaufort West decided to march to the municipality against lies and very poor service delivery. We want to ask him to show us the proof of the Eskom bills and show us the proof of the money of the municipality. He said Beaufort West is a development town. Former DA councillor, Derek Welgemoed resigned from the DA and joined the PA and he will become now the acting MM of Beaufort West municipality. The mayor of Beaufort West, Ashley Sauls has no plan for Beaufort West and to develop this town and to stop corruption in the municipality,” says Beaufort West community activist Elvico Links.
The DA has also cried foul, accusing McKenzie and his party of cadre deployment. This after former DA councillor, Derek Welgemoed jumped ship. Welgemoed has now been appointed as the acting municipal manager.
“It can safely be concluded that Welgemoed was lured to the PA with the corrupt promise that Gayton Mckenzie’s party would irregularly appoint him to the highly paid position of MM without following any due process. The DA will now refer the matter to the MEC for local government in the Western Cape for urgent investigation. While the PA has openly embraced the ANC in its corrupt cadre deployment tactics, the DA is leading the fight against this corruption,” says DA Constituency head, Daylin Mitchell,
The SACP in the region has also called out McKenzie, accusing him of lying about paying off the Eskom debt.
“So where did he pay Eskom and why is it that the debt of Eskom is not going down. And this is exactly why the people here are protesting. They are blocking people’s electricity while there’s someone who’s owing R634 000 to the municipality who’s going to come to the municipality and even force the decision that people’s electricity must be blocked while his electricity is not blocked. So, there is no such. Gayton is lying to the country. He posted on Facebook. We are saying we want to see proof of payments,” says Mawonga Furman from the SACP.
In response to SABC enquiries, McKenzie alleged that the protesters were in fact Community Work Programme workers. He also said that in spite of the protest, his party still has a lot of support in the town.
Original Story by www.sabcnews.com